South Jersey woman keeps busy at 100 years young

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Music has always been a part of Elsie Shearer's life. She learned to play at age 4, and now as she turns 100, her fingers still glide across the keys. (WPVI)

Music has always been a part of Elsie Shearer's life. She learned to play at age 4, and now as she turns 100, her fingers still glide across the keys.

"For 50 years, you asked me a question, I've been taking vitamin supplements. Do you think that might have something to do with it, aside from the Almighty up there? They're not ready for me yet up there," said Shearer of Marmora, New Jersey.

When Elsie was born Jan. 14, 1917, Woodrow Wilson was president and a loaf of bread cost 7 cents. A century later, the Philadelphia native has changed her look, but keeps plugging away. She plays piano at the Upper Township Senior Center each day and, until recently, lead an exercise class there.

"She's an inspiration for all of us not to give up, actually, and just keep going," said Lee Savich of Ocean View, New Jersey.

"There's not many people on this planet that make it to triple digits, so it's a spectacular event," said Larry Trulli, co-director, Upper Township Senior Center.

A retiree from Campbell Soup, Elsie married and worked with chorus leader Lewis Shearer until he died in 1991. These days she likes to keep busy and keep a sense of humor.

"We meet every Sunday. She goes to Methodist church. I go to the Baptist church," said Dorothy Rogers of Upper Township, New Jersey.

"We'll forgive her for being Baptist, OK," Shearer says jokingly.

Despite her age, Elsie Shearer is still driving. She motors to the senior center, and every Sunday to Trinity United Methodist Church in Marmora where she's the organist.

"The best thing we ever did was adopt her," said Doris Jones of Ventnor, New Jersey.

Doris and Rick Jones keep an eye on Elsie.

"We try not to do holidays without her, and she's just a big part of our life," said Doris Jones.

Elsie's stamina would put the Energizer Bunny to shame, so of course you have to ask: What is it that keeps her going, what keeps her so young?

"I think being energetic. Using your muscles is good for you, using your brain is even better," said Shearer.

It seems that even at 100, Elsie Shearer's song is far from over.
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